SILS Alumnus Gerald Holmes Named Achievement in Library Diversity Honoree by ALA

December 19, 2014

Gerald Holmes (MSLS '85), Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator for University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and co-chair of the SILS Alumni Inclusion and Diversity (SAID) Committee, has been named the 2014 Achievement in Library Diversity Honoree by the American Library Association.

As part of its ongoing support of the propagation of library-based diversity research, the ALA Council Committee on Diversity and the ALA Office for Diversity are pleased to recognize Holmes for his contributions to the profession and his promotion of diversity within it. He will receive the honor and offer remarks during the Diversity Research Update at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday, January 31, in room W183c of the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Holmes’ career has focused on the development of early career librarians, and through that work he has consistently encouraged individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to choose the library profession. He serves as a mentor for many in the profession and is sought after for guidance on diversity issues. In his role as diversity coordinator, he works directly with library administration on university priorities, grants, fund raising and campus priorities regarding diversity issues and resources.

A part of his role also includes working to develop internal library training opportunities to highlight culture and needs of diverse populations that the libraries serve on campus. Holmes has been a co-principle investigator with several other area librarians and faculty members of the UNCG Library and Information Studies (LIS) program to apply for and receive IMLS grants that have funded scholarships for the Academic Cultural Enhancement (ACE) Scholars. These cohorts were directed at increasing the presence of underrepresented populations into librarianship. 

While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Holmes has been very involved in diversity focused work including serving on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; chairing the University Libraries Diversity Committee; and creating and coordinating a Post MLS Diversity Residency Program, now with its fourth resident. He also has represented the Libraries on the UNCG Race and Gender Institute Planning Committee. 

Holmes assisted in creating the ACRL Residency Interest Group and he provided guidance to the leadership of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SILS Alumni Inclusion and Diversity Committee.  Additionally, he has served in leadership positions as a member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (Executive Board), as chair of the Round Table for Ethnic Minority Concerns and member of the Executive Board for the North Carolina Library Association, and as Chair of the ACRL African-American Librarians Section. 

Photo courtesy of UNC Greensboro.